July 30, 2010

A few things you should know about!

Through September 1st, $1 of every pattern and ebook I sell will go to The Lustgarten Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research via Kim Werker’s Pancreatic Craftacular.  Kim is doing all she can to raise $2500 by Sept 12th, and a bunch of other designers, yarn makers, and crafters are helping out, so check out the Craftacular page to see all the stuff you can buy to help, or to straight up donate to the cause.

from leethal pattern page

If you’ve been thinking about grabbing any (or many!) of my patterns, now’s the time to go for it!

from leethal pattern page

A sort-of-related heads up – I’m currently working on redesigns of all my old patterns, so that they all have the same pdf format and stuff, and I will be raising prices of at least one, maybe more, patterns once all the layout design redoing is done.  If you want 10 cuff patterns, grab it now for $4.50 while you still can!

from leethal pattern page

In other news… remember back last fall when a bunch of Portland crafters were all trying to raise awareness about our most favorite local craft thrift store, Knittn’ Kitten?  And alllll of you non-Portlanders were saying things like “I wish I could go to Portland and check it out” etc etc…  Well, I am so happy to tell you all that the Kitten has opened up an etsy shop!!  It’s not exactly like shopping in the store, but it’s pretty darn awesome, full of vintagey crafty goodness!  Yay!!!!

knittn' kitten's new etsy shop!

And one more thing you must know about!  Croq zine has a Kickstarter going on so that we can all help get a new issue published!  I super love Croq, have all the issues, and am way excited to see another one being made!  But, it will only get made if we help, by essentially pre-ordering our copies through Kickstarter.  Once creator Heather has enough “backers” to afford printing a run of zines, the issue will get made, and all of us who helped out will receive our copies!

kickstart croq!

Of course, you can pledge more than the cost of an issue ($5) if you can swing it – a $25 pledge will get you some homemade vegan lip balm, made with Heather’s own amazingly delicious recipe!  Kickstarter is such a cool way to get a project off the ground – back Croq today, get your issue when it’s released, everyone wins, and we all help awesome things happen!!  Yeah!

July 27, 2010

July leethal quick knits club!

My second-to-last physical quick knits club packages (before switching to pdf-only) got mailed out a week ago – it was some hectic times getting this one together, but I am so so happy with how it turned out!  The theme was Accessorize, and my aim was for there to be something for everyone…

Blooming Flowers! Robot Monster Pouch!

With the 15 yard mini-skein, the pattern was these Blooming Flowers, in 3 different sizes (barely blooming, blooming, and the cephalopod-esque fully bloomed) – the 15 yards is enough to make 6 or 7 of them!

Blooming Flowers!

By threading a pipe cleaner (or 2) through the flowers, and wrapping it around ribbon, the flowers can be turned into a necklace (like above), a headband (like below, or like this), a bracelet, or whatever else the maker can think up!

Blooming Flowers! Blooming Flowers!

Another option is to turn 2 (or more!) flowers into a pair of earrings, like these:

Blooming Flowers!

Each club package included everything needed to make earrings like those, which means members could also choose to use the parts to try out my 2-bead earrings tutorial (like the ones below), or make any other kinds of earrings with the 2 earwires, 2 headpins, 2 eyepins, and many assorted pairs of beads included in the package!

Blooming Flowers!

Or, another option for members is to use all those parts to make a collection of beaded stitch markers!  Turning each headpin, eyepin, and earwire into a stitch marker means you get 6 fancy-pants beaded treats for your knitting!  Aaaand, the other pattern can provide a place to store them:

July quick knits club stuff! July quick knits club stuff!

To accessorize your keys, bag, or whatever you clip it onto, the Robot Monster Pouch is sized exactly to hold a tic-tac case, which can be repurposed to store stitch markers, or anything else that fits!  The case wasn’t included in the package, but the googly eyes were:

Robot Monster Pouch!

Everyone got a bundle of 4 pipe cleaners and a piece of ribbon, and a little (recycled) baggie filled with all those jewelry-making parts, a keyring, a hook, and lots of beads…

July quick knits club stuff!

… mostly from Knittn’ Kitten, many of the beads are either vintage (like these 50’s glass chevron beads) or czech glass!  Pretty!

July quick knits club stuff! July quick knits club stuff!

Oh yeah and the yarn!  Recycled dyed is 56% nylon, 40% angora, 4% lambswool fingering weight – used to be a bright fuschia color, overdyed with blue, purple, and red to make a less bright purple shade.  I named it Dedicated Follower of Fashion.  The spun yarn, Fashion is Danger, is a lambswool/angora/rayon blend with a shiny silver strand running through, spun and plied with vintage lurex metallic thread and a variegated thread.

July quick knits club stuff! July quick knits club stuff!

And a complete club package:

July quick knits club stuff!

Don’t forget to sign up for the last club kit (only a few days left till the 1st) – August’s theme is Games and I’m way excited about it!!

Filed under: beading,knitting,quick knits — leethal @ 4:35 pm

July 25, 2010

My Edible Garden! Soon to be actually edible!!

Oh my gosh you guys, I am SO freaking excited that tomatoes have just appeared on my plants!  Look look look!!


A little (semi-embarrassing) background info from a couple weeks ago… I was trying to be super good, learning how to grow things successfully, reading about how to prune tomato plants, and I misunderstood some things because I don’t know what I’m doing yet (hey, this is my learning year, misunderstanding is to be expected), and I WAY over-pruned.  Once I realized what I’d done wrong, I feared I’d seriously damaged the plants and either killed them completely or majorly affected the time it would take for tomatoes to start appearing.  So when I saw these three tomatoes today while watering – 2 on the middle-sized plant, one on the biggest plant – I was ecstatic!

tomatoes! tomatoes!

And then, the pickling cucumber plant I added (into this planter) less than 2 weeks ago…

pickling cucumbers!

…has three of these little future-cucumbers appearing already!  Yay!!  Extra exciting after learning a bit about pickling, and getting eager to try it out!  (By the way, all these photos were taken super close-up with a micro lens – all these little future-foods are bitsy right now!)

pickling cucumbers! pickling cucumbers!

Aaaand, the carrot seeds I planted at the same time are starting to sprout!  Hooray for carrots!  Yumyumyumyum!

future carrots!

Lastly for the foody goodness… the California Wonder pepper plant I added at the same time as the cucumber is flowering – not doing quite as well as the other guys though.  That blackness around the bases of the stems is worrying me… the photo on the left was taken the day after planting it – all green – then the new photo on the right was taken today:

pepper plant! pepper plant!

Then there’s my herbs!  The yard came with a pretty stocked herb planter when we moved in – healthy looking sage, oregano, some dying thyme, and what I think is tarragon, but I’m not sure since there’s no tag and I’ve never cooked with tarragon so I don’t know what it smells like… what do you think?

tarragon? tarragon?

And just yesterday I discovered some mint in another part of the yard, so that’s rad… then soon after we moved in I planted some rosemary and sweet basil.  A few weeks ago, the sweet basil seemed to have been totally killed by the horrible cold streak we had in June, but now it’s come back to life!  Then I added African Blue basil at the same time as the cucs and peppers, which I totally love!  I don’t want to put any effort into anything that’s not edible, so when I saw that I could have a basil with pretty flowers as a bonus, I went for it!  Side note – the photos below (left = today, right = just after planting) are a great demonstration of the difference between shade vs. harsh direct sunlight:

basil! basil!

One last thing from my yard – these narrow planters are empty now (were filled with dead things and weeds, which I got rid of yesterday) and I could totally use them for something new, but what?  Any suggestions for things I don’t already have, small enough to fit in here (width is around 8ish inches), not too late in the season to plant?

extra narrow raised beds

And some extra bonus photos, snapped for fun while walking around Lents Park awhile ago…

Lents community garden! Lents community garden!

These are some awesome looking plants that I liked – no idea what they are:

Lents community garden!

Lents community garden!

Lents community garden!

Ok I’m done!  Happy gardening!

Filed under: home stuff,photos,portland stuff — leethal @ 9:52 pm

July 24, 2010

July 9th – 21st photos

Photo time!  Within this chunk of my life, my parents came to visit for 3.5 days and we had all kinds of fun times (like food, yardwork, driving around, house-stuff shopping, more food, farkle, beer, trivia, and some more food), and it was also my frantic club planning, building, sorting, etc time of the month… let’s go!

9th – Spent the day doing some cleaning and unpacking, and finally crushed these dried herbs into jars!  I let them dry for longer than I was supposed to, because I didn’t have jars to put them into, so hopefully they’re ok, probably not the best though.  The whole process was a lot of work for that tiny amount of dried herbs, so I might be using them fresh from the garden most of the time instead of doing this…


10th + 11th – I forgot to take a photo on the 10th, the day my parents came into town, so I snapped this shot the next morning of some of the boxes they brought with them – since we have a house with lots of storage space now, they loaded up the car with these plus several more boxes and bags full of all kinds of stuff from my childhood, artwork all through high school and college, etc… When I have time to go through it all, it’s gonna be so much fun!  Their first full day here, we all headed up Mt. Hood to the Timberline Lodge – we met a dog in the parking lot who was awesome and named Bruno, then we saw this painting in the lodge! Ok, not the exact same dog, but it looks just like him…

0710 0711

12th – The next day of their visit was pretty nuts – I had to teach a class in the middle of it, Pete had to work all day, so I had breakfast and a little pdx exploring with them in the morning, then we went our separate ways and they headed up to the zoo.  By the time we all reconvened in the evening, we were all super tired from long days, and we tried playing Taboo for awhile… our brains were all so wiped out that we all were terrible at the game, it was pretty funny.  Anyway, also, see those rings on the table?  My dad gave me those, which belonged to his parents – family story is that the bigger (non-gold) one was made by my grandpa during the war, from a nickel!


13th – The next morning was Waffle Window for breakfast!  One of my favorites, for sure, and now it’s my mom’s number one favorite breakfast spot in the world!


14th + 15th – While they were here, we took a trip to my local nursery (which is HUGE, by the way!) and I got some new plants for the garden, to try out during my learning time – the more experience I pack in this summer, the more I’ll know how to have an awesome veggie garden next year!  I got a pickling cucumber plant, a California Wonder pepper plant, carrot seeds, and an African Blue Basil plant!  So when I was reheating some leftover pizza, I grabbed some of the basil, and some oregano too, from the yard and threw that on there – oh my gosh best leftover pizza ever!  And, these days started my club-making, lots of unraveling!  (the color in this yarn photo is super inaccurate)

0714 0715

16th – I was having some trouble making my club plans fall into place, so I took a brainstorming walk, browsed craft supplies at Jo-Ann, and headed to Lents park, where I wandered and brainstormed and found this table in the shade to sit down with my sketchbook.  Perfect plan, totally worked!  Sorted out all my issues and got the elements all planned out on paper!


17th + 18th – Taught a class in the morning, did some birthday shopping for Pete on Mississippi (after lunch at the carts), and headed to Scrap and Knittn’ Kitten for some club-related supplies (like recycled mailing envelopes).  Of course, I got much more than club stuff!  Oh Scrap, I can never leave without a huge box full of goodies!  Also stopped at Twisted for this skein of yellow bulky Lanaloft – love!!  The next day, after working hard on club patterns all day, we got to hang with birthday girl Elif and Vivian for some birthday drinks and pizza…

0717 0718

19th – Club package sorting this month included these gorgeous vintage 50’s chevron beads, found at Knittn’ Kitten – I wanted to buy all of them, in all different colors, but I limited myself to these three bags.  Enough for all club members, plus plenty left over for me to play with!  I already made 2 orange ones into a pair of earrings a couple nights ago…


20th + 21st – These two days were Pete’s days off, before his birthday, when he had to work, so we treated these days as his “birthday weekend” and did all kinds of fun stuff, like breakfast at Genie’s, watching a weird zombie movie, him playing video games while I taught a class…. He decided he wanted to have an Angel “party” – this was modeled after a Buffy “party” we had back in October, which meant we bought an assortment of junk food which could vaguely relate to the Buffy-verse (like garlic toast and monster candy, since it was Halloween season this was easy to find).  So we found what we could – Devil Squares, parmesan+garlic Cheese Its, Twizzlers (blood colored), and I drank red wine (like blood) with a bunch of orange juice mixed in – instant sangria!  It was a fun Angel party!  Oh I know we’re supernerds, I know.

Oh then the next day was a little more of a real party – we ate pizza and homemade pesto crazy bread and played games with our buddies Star and Grant, fun times!  We tried out Huggermugger – holy crap that game is tough!  Star and Grant are not just word lovers, but crossword puzzle makers(!) so they did much better than Pete and I did, and before playing this I thought we were both pretty good with words too!  It was fun though, just made me feel dumb, hah… oh yeah and I drank Busch Light, that was silly…

0720 0721

Well that was a wordy post!  These photo-a-day posts are kind of like a diary for me – a glimpse into my life if you want to bother reading it all, but you can also just skim over the photos and leave it at that.  Coming soon… interested in a garden post? You’ll probably be getting one!  And, oh my gosh it’s taking me what feels like years to get this mitts pattern finished, but that’s my next top priority, so you’ll soon(ish) be seeing not just a new pattern, but a new technique!!  Soon, I promise!

Filed under: 2010 photos — leethal @ 12:50 pm

July 20, 2010

thrifty finds: Best of my Recent Acquisitions!

Pete has a new obsession, I mean hobby, for the last couple of months – men’s fashion!  His used-to-be comicy blog has turned into a record of his clothing finds, all scored at thrift stores all over town (and outside town), most of which I’ve accompanied him to, where I’ve scored some finds of my own!  So these are some of my favorites from the last month or so, collected here for your own thrifting inspiration!

Starting with crafty stuff, this granny squares book is pretty darn sweet, and while I don’t really care about that little knitting book, I LOVE the yarn+needles charm that came with it!  It will be turned into a necklace for sure:

book(s) and charm!

Some of the nice cotton blend loops to go with my vintagey potholder loom I scored at a craft swap awhile back… and a big chunk of houndstooth fabric – maybe big enough to make an awesome dress, if I can figure out how to make a dress…

loom loops! fabric!

Sweaters to unravel and dye, as always:

sweaters for unraveling!

I started collecting lace for a home decor project I’m planning, but now I’ve been brainstorming about a different project that some of this might be used for…


I love collecting awesome glasses and mugs!  This is another recent find


Pete’s always looking for games for trivia mystery prizes, and scored these the other day – I am so keeping pop culture trivial pursuit and celebrity taboo! And, has anyone heard of/played huggermugger?  Looks maybe fun…


And onto the clothes!  I love this wraparound dress – it’s a size smaller than would normally fit me, but it magically fits perfectly, and it has pockets! wooo!  And then this weird-ish summer cardigan thing – not good for most weather, being super warm angora but short sleeves, but it’s soft and cabley and has crocheted buttons and I couldn’t resist!

wraparound dress! summer sweater!

These two tops are both dress-like but too short for me so I wear them with jeans or with a skirt underneath… giant purple houndstooth is rad and that grey+black one totally looks like yarn and/or cables!

houndstooth top! yarn-ish dress!

And one of my best thrifty finds of all time: dug up at the Bins, meaning it cost probably around $3-4 (pay by the pound)…

coat! coat!

Check out the label on this coat!  Made in England, in the 30’s?!  Awesome, perfect-fitting houndstooth wool, sure to be worn every day next winter!

coat tag

And those are just my favorites!  Happy thrifting!

Filed under: thrifty finds — leethal @ 11:51 pm

July 12, 2010

Hat pattern newly available to you! Plus some plant photos!

Brimming with Color!

Oh hey, I forgot to tell you last week that my Brimming with Color hat pattern is now available to all!  When I first blogged about it, when it was released to Twisted‘s club members, I thought I couldn’t release it until October, but their policy changed, so it’s out now, yay!  (on ravelry)

Brimming with Color!

Speaking of Twisted, I don’t think I ever mentioned here that my connect-the-dots stitch sets and my Double Scoops ice cream headband and earmuffs kits are there!  So, if you’re local and you like supporting awesome yarn shops, you can check out my stuff there, yeah!  (They also sell some of my absolute favorite yarns ever, like Brown Sheep and Malabrigo and Noro and Imperial Stock Ranch and Alpaca with a Twist…….)

Brimming with Color!

And since this was a quickie post, I’ll throw up a few photos of my tomato plants!  The weather was harsh when they were starting out (the reason for the brown on the leaves, maybe?), but I think they’re doing ok – I don’t know anything about gardening though… They are mostly green and the bigger two have flowers, and the smallest one looks like flowers are coming soon, so I think they’re good!

The biggest/oldest of the three:

tomato1 tomato1c

And the medium sized and smallest ones:

tomato2 tomato3

I am going to be SO freaking excited if/when actual tomatoes start appearing!!

Filed under: hats,home stuff,knitting — leethal @ 9:48 am

July 10, 2010

June 22nd – July 8th photos

I let these pile up for awhile again, but I missed a few days because of sickness (nothing interesting to shoot those day anyway… they may have been shots of cough drops or noodle soup…).  Let’s go!

22nd – A couple nights before this, Pete and I did karaoke out and had so much fun, so we broke out our ps3 karaoke game we’ve had forever but rarely play, and we totally rocked out in our living room! It was superfun!


23rd + 24th – We hung out with Star and went thrifting and to trivia at Zach’s, where Zach was excited to tell me about the Corona on special that I could get instead of my usual PBR.  I hadn’t had Corona since college in San Diego, so I got one for old time’s sake… and felt very silly about it… Anyway, then the next day I forgot to take a photo, but I did take a photo booth shot of this top I got at Goodwill the day before – love it!

0623 0624

25th –  It was a certain little foofhead‘s birthday today!  Our 2-year-old kitten:


26th + 28th – These were sick days, during which I had the energy to make cold brewed coffee for the how-to I did, and not too much else, like take photos-of-the-days…

0626 0628

1st – Enough energy to knit on this hat, and I even remembered to photograph it:


30th + 2nd –  A couple of food shots… sick food (plain wheat pasta with olive oil) on the 30th, then by the 2nd I was feeling better enough to make a yummy wrap for lunch:

0630 0702

3rd + 4th – Tired of sitting on the couch, I worked on the library a bunch!  Yes, we still have a ton of unpacking to do, after having moved in over 2 months ago (we’re busy people!) so I unpacked all the CDs and rearranged things so that the library started looking more like a real room and less like a big storage closet.  On the 4th, we hung out with our buddies in St. Johns and saw some faraway fireworks from the bridge.  This photo actually makes the fireworks look much closer than they were (but it was fun!):

0703 0704

5th –  Spent most of the day working on my mitts design – after gathering all the feedback from my testers, I decided to make some kind of big changes, so I now have to re-test pretty heavily myself.  I’m really happy with how the pattern is turning out, but I probably won’t be able to complete it till after my July club goes out, which means an end-of-July release… man, this pattern is taking forever (I started this design in March)…


6th + 7th –  More knitting and design work, along with lots of Netflix Instant watching… Then a weekend day with Pete – we had lots of fun times out thrifting and eating and game playing, and in the middle of the day we did a wee bit of housework and Pete pruned the crap out of our hydrangea in the front yard!  I wish I’d taken photos of it before, though it was looking a bit weird – I think due to the weather lately, it’s been blooming all uneven, so lots of the flowers are still green, and many of them are already wilting.  We know nothing about plants, so maybe this is normal and we’re supposed to be pruning often.  Anyway, it was taking over our ramp to the front door and our driveway and everything, so Pete cut it all back out of the way, and put some of these flowers in a vase on the table… within 5 minutes Banzo was trying to eat them, so I snapped some photos and we threw them all out, so sad…

0706 0707

8th –  I did a ton of back yard work – mowed and pulled weeds mostly, but the yard still needs lots more work to look decent… in the 90-something degree heat, I discovered that when the doug fir tree is shading part of the yard, it’s a drastic difference in temperature and totally nice to be outside under the shade, so I ate lunch out in the yard for the first time!


I also got the little air conditioner up and running yesterday – so nice!  I’ve never lived in a place with any kind of AC, such a treat!  Between that and our multiple ceiling fans and movable fans, this summer will be so much more bearable than last!

My parents are coming into town tomorrow to hang out for a few days, so it’ll be a bit vacationy for me, fun times!  Sure to be lots of delicious Portland food involved, yay!  Happy weekend to you!

Filed under: 2010 photos — leethal @ 12:14 am

July 6, 2010

leethal quick knits club patterns vol.2!

It’s out! You can now knit anything and everything from my January-April club pattern sets!  $3 for a month’s worth of 2 patterns, or $6 gets you the whole EIGHT pattern ebook!!  (on ravelry)  The 23 pages include…

leethal quick knits patterns vol. 2!

January’s Afterthought Earflaps and Pinwheel Earmuffs (original blog post):

Afterthought Earflaps Pinwheel Earmuffs

February’s Argyle Cuff and Bolt (original blog post):

cuffs01 bolt04

March’s Cabled Frame and Camera Patch (original blog post):

Cabled Frame Camera Patch

April’s Fruit+Veggie Scrubbies and Mini Produce Bag (original blog post):

fruit + veggie dish scrubbies mini produce bag

Sorry if I sounded all advertise-y but I’m sincerely excited about releasing this ebook!  I really love a lot of these designs so I’m happy for the exclusivity to be over and now anyone who wants them can get them!  Yay!

You can find and buy everything on my site here, or on ravelry here.  Happy knitting!

Filed under: knitting,leethal store,quick knits,self-publishing — leethal @ 1:01 pm

July 5, 2010

Catching Up – coffee, interview, and a bunch of links!

I got a super nice message from Parisa of LightingLittleFires blog a while back, saying that I’d helped inspire her to start a blog and put together a blog “festival” of projects, which sounded like a fun idea!  She asked if I’d be interested in contributing something summery, so I put together a how-to for one of my favorite summer treats – cold brewed coffee!

cold brew! cold brew!

Along with the coffee instructions, you’ll also find a pretty wordy interview… be warned, when I’m asked about my business and stuff, you can’t shut me up!  So head over to day 10 of the Midsummer Day’s Dream blog festival – and check out the festival home page to see all the projects for all the days (including some free knit and crochet patterns, recipes, and more!).

cold brew!

In other news… did you know this year’s Tour de Fleece has started already?!  My, how time flies!  I’m taking the year off, sadly, too much going on, but I did participate the last 2 years – see my posts about 2009 and about 2008, or the flickr sets, for some inspiration perhaps?  It’s such a fun way to spin a bunch with a huge group of people all spinning right along with you, yay!  (Head to the ravelry group to get involved!)

ease your feet in the sea

I’ve been meaning to mention this since the Summit of Awesome, where I met the creator of this amazing new website – unanimous craft!  From the site:

Unanimous Craft is a tagable, sortable index of resources for crafters, artists and indie business owners. We submit our favorite resources and welcome the community to do the same.

It’s still super new, and the awesomeness of it is dependent on how much it gets used… I haven’t been able to spend any real time there yet, but I plan to for sure, and you should too!

I got an email from 9-year-old Hannah pointing me to this video she made about Hats for Hunger – seems like a great charity to know about if you’re looking for a place to donate hats, or want to buy some hats for a good cause, or especially if you have kids in your life who might be into loom-knitting (or regular knitting) up some hats for the cause, since it’s all run by kids!  Pretty rad!

And one last thing to tell you about – Google voice has recently come out of beta so an invite is no longer needed to get an account!  It’s a great service (watch the video to learn about it) and I now have a new number that I can share publicly since it’s all screened and stuff…  (971)-leethal will reach me via phone call or text! Yay!

Well I’m finally almost not sick anymore, and catching up slowly on everything after a couple weeks of rest… oh, my poor blog, hopefully I’ll be seeing more of you!

Filed under: lots of links,random stuff,recipes,yarn — leethal @ 11:08 pm
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